Reader Rant: Air Bag Disconnect?

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Here’s the latest reader rant, along with my reply!

Chris says: There is usually a connector under your seat that de-activates your airbag. I remember when my son was little, I took my 2003 Chevy 2500 work van to the State Police HDQTS  and they disconnected it so I could put the child seat in.

My rejoinder: Yes, but… newer vehicles are a tougher nut. Unless a fairly elaborate procedure is used to fool the OBD II system into thinking the air bag is intact and operational, the computer will trigger the “SRS” (Supplemental Restraint System) or “air bag” light to come on and there will be a code stored in the OBD system, which will be noticed when the car is taken in for saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety/emissions testing.

Not everyone has to deal with these obnoxious “inspections” – which are arguably a pretext for another shakedown as well as waste of time and a saaaaaaaaaaaaafety hazard – because they take responsibility for keeping track of the condition of a vehicle away from the person who drives it very day and places it in the lap of the person who takes a look at the car once a year.

But if you do have to deal with the inspection, be warned that unless you defeat the air bag in such a way that it will not be noticed by the inspector, he will fail you – and then the car can’t be registered  or get its registration renewed and now it’s effectively useless to you because at any time, a “hero” could notice the dead registration/sticker and proceed to Hut! Hut! Hut! you into the afterlife.

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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